Captain Sven Skute

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Captain Sven Skute

Birthplace: Kronoby, Österbotten, Finland
Death: 1665 (41-42)
Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Sven Skute, Sr.
Husband of Anna Skute
Father of Johan Swenson Skute; Magdalena Rambo and Christina Skute

Occupation: Captain, Lt. by order of the Queen of Sweden,
Managed by: Rick Lane
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Captain Sven Skute

Colonial Swedes

Sven Svensson Skute, a veteran of the Thirty Years War (1618-1648), was the highest-ranking official to remain in New Sweden after its surrender to the Dutch in 1655.

Prior to his coming to New Sweden with Governor Printz in 1643, Sven Skute had served as a lieutenant with the Åbo and Björneborg County cavalry. Of Swedish parentage, he came from Kronoby in Finland and was married to Anna Johansdotter in Sweden.

On his first trip to New Sweden, Skute left his bride behind. She took residence at Näsby in Dingtuna parish, Västmanland, and, with his brother Jacob Svensson, is reported to have collected money from his wages while he was in America.

Lt. Sven Skute's salary was substantial by contemporary standards. He earned 40 guilders per month, four times the wage of common soldiers and company workers.

After arriving in New Sweden, Lt. Sven Skute was assigned the task of supervising construction of Fort Elfsborg in present Salem County, NJ. He was still there in 1644 when he fired on, and boarded, Governor Winthrop's ship from New England. In 1648, his name was prominent in leading the Swedish soldiers who barred Dutch settlement near Fort Beversreede on the Schuylkill River. In the summer of 1650, Governor Printz ordered Sven Skute to return to Sweden with letters to plea for more assistance for the colony. He arrived in Stockholm in early November 1650. In March 1651 he secured an audience with Queen Christina and reported that there were only 70 men remaining in New Sweden and that more settlers and supplies were desperately needed.

Queen Christina was slow in responding to this plea. Finally, in August 1653, instructions were issued to Sven Skute to find 250 new settlers for the colony. Skute was also well rewarded for his past services. She promoted him to be a captain and on 20 August 1653, she issued him a patent for extensive lands in present South and West Philadelphia.

Skute immediately left on an extensive recruiting trip through Våsterås, Värmland and Dalsland and recruited more settlers than the next ship, the Eagle, could carry. The ship, under the command of the new Governor, Johan Rising, left Gothenberg 2 Feb. 1654 and arrived at St. Christopher in the West Indies on 16 April 1654 when Skute went ashore to obtain fresh fruit and water. On 20 May 1654 the ship reached Fort Elfsborg, which was found ruined and deserted. On the next day, the ship reached Fort Casimir (present New Castle). Skute led three squads of musketeers ashore and they easily captured the fort, without resistance from the Dutch who were out of gunpowder.

In June 1654 Skute presented Queen Christina's land patent to Governor Rising for confirmation. Rising, however, was unwilling to allow Skute to occupy land which had been previously settled and developed by freemen for the previous decade and ultimately ruled that it was dependent on his confirmation, which he never gave

(Schwenn Schutte)

Additional information on Sven Skute

Sweden to New Sweden- 1643

Lieutenant Schwenn Schute (Sven Skute) is listed in a 1648 document as one who came to New Sweden with Gov. Printz in 1643.Lt. Sven Skute was placed in command at Fort Elfsborg. (A footnote in Dr. Johnson's book says his name in Swedish was Swann Skutta.)

In 1650 Skute was sent to Sweden and Holland with letters and reports. In 1651 he reported to the Queen of Sweden in Council Chamber. Lt. Sven Skute reported that as a whole the colony of NewSweden was prosperous, but that there were too few colonists. In 1653 Lt. Skute was appointed to hire soldiers and laborers and to prevail on others to go as settlers on this, the Tenth Expedition. He returned with these people on the ship, the Orn. He was appointed"captain of the landspeople."

When Rising took over leadership of the colony, Skute was named his assistant to rule "under the authority of Her Royal Majesty and the Crown of Sweden." In 1654 Skute was officially commissioned commander of fort and military affairs. The budget lists Commandant Sven Skute. Between 1653-1654 Skute received a donation of land in NewSweden from the Crown: "Passayunk . . . (and part?) of Kinsessing. Skute worked all summer to superintendent strengthening of old and building of new ramparts. Work was delayed by the illness of Skute and others.

When he was forced to surrender the fort to the Dutch,charges were brought against Skute as commandant by the Swedes.However he was found to have acted honorably. The Dutch allowed the officers to remain after swearing a new oath of allegiance to Holland,and Skute's deed from Queen Christiana was confirmed by the Dutch.

Sven Skute and Jacob Svensson appear on a list of "undesirable citizens" as they held "secret conferences" with Indians, being looked on with suspicion "because the Indians often came to the homes of the Swedes, and were, as usual, well received.

Military administrator of New Sweden in the Delaware Valley, Sven Skute, who arrived in 1643. Sven was deeded land by Queen Christina of Sweden in the late 1650's (now south Philadelphia area). The Swedish-American Museum in Philadelphia is located on Sven Skute's land. Sven's land is located near the Gynedd Monthly Meeting site, where our furst records of the Adamson line begins.

I was at the Friends History Center at Swathmore College about two weeks ago. There was no record of John Adamson in the archives until he and Ann Skute declared their intent to marry Feb 1715 at Haddonfield Monthly Meeting, although it seems possible they might have been at the New Town (Newton) MM or Chesterfield MM before Haddonfield. All 3 were Gloucester County; Haddonfield later Camden County when Gloucester County split. Also listed is got licence to marry at Haddonfield MM on March 14, 1716.The discrepancy in years is common in these old records--I think it has to do with the calendar changes and/or subsequent copying. Know nothing about his parents or sibs, and there are no records of them at Swathmore.

There are records of Adamsons in MMs in England prior to 1700 in the Swathmore archive. John got certificate of transfer to Gwynedd MM, Upper Gwynedd Twp, Bucks County, PA, on Jan 14, 1725, as there was no MM at Richland Twp, Quakertown borough, where they settled at the GreatSwamp, until 1742. John is found there in histories of early Bucks County.

Ann Skute was granddaughter of the military administrator of New Sweden in the Delaware Valley, Sven Skute, who arrived in 1643. Anns' father was Johan Svensson Skute(1654-1722) and her mother was Armegot Martensdotter Garretsson(1664-1755!). Sven Skute and family are well documented and easily found i

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Captain Sven Skute's Timeline

Kronoby, Österbotten, Finland
September 4, 1654
Age 31
New Castle, DE, United States
March 25, 1660
Age 37
Schuylkil, New Sweden, Amerika
Age 42
Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, United States
September 4, 1687
Age 42
New Castle, New Castle County, Delaware, United States